Hail to the Chief! Oh My! (How Not to Dread This Political Season)

Psalm 52:6 - But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

 

I always dread this season.

Not the fall season or football season. I love those.

I dread the political season.

We get to see the worst in people and then elect one of them to become our nation’s leader.

Hail to the Chief! Whoopee!

But it’s not all bad news.

When all is said and done, God is the one who chooses our president, because He’s the real Chief. And we can trust Him completely.

Even as this 2016 election season gets more insane, we can trust in the steadfast love of God forever.

We can be like a green olive tree.

I realize being compared to an olive tree isn’t necessarily the clearest of comforts if you’re like me and have lived with oak trees and Bradford pears, but never with olive trees.

Let me explain:

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.

Olive trees live a long time. Some over 2,000 years.

They withstand drought and storms well, unlike the sensitive, fragile Bradford pear trees.

Bradford pears can’t handle much. They crack and fall under pressure. 

America needs to stop acting like a Bradford pear and get back to being an olive tree. 

But it’ll only happen when we get back to following Christ as a nation.

I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Infinitely stronger than any olive tree, God’s love lasts forever.

No matter how crazy our world gets, or if America ever turns back to Christ or not, God never changes.

Remember that during this changing, bizarro political season.

~ Psalm 52:8

 

God doesn’t always choose a president who follows Him, but He always chooses the one that fits His purposes.

Sometimes God determines we need a president who inspires us to become a greater nation.

Other times we need a president who shakes us up and makes us realize how far we’ve fallen from pursuing and loving God.

This season we apparently need more than just a regular shake up. Oh my!

I know America needs to turn back to God, but I don’t have a clue how to make that happen.

But God does. And He can, and He will, if that’s His plan.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if that’s His plan. He left it out of the Bible.

No matter. God’s made it clear we simply need to pray, trust, and follow Him–the One who knows it all.

He’s not worried or scrambling. He’s calmly working for our good and His glory.

We might need a microscope to see it in our country right now, but when He’s got all the players and pieces in place, the world will see and know that there’s a God in heaven, and He loves us with an everlasting love.

The political season will never be my favorite season, but we don’t have to dread it when we remember who really runs our country and our world.

Hail to the real Chief–our Almighty, All-knowing, and All-loving God!

AMEN!


Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings; [and presidents] . . .”
~ Daniel 2:20-21 NASB

Hail to the Chief! Oh My! (How Not to Dread This Political Season) #Elections #GodIsSovereign Click To Tweet

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When Pain Is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom

When Pain is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom by Mekeishakay via www.JeanWilund.comEver met someone you’d like to have follow you around and talk for you?

All you’d have to say was, “Yeah. What she said!”

Blogger–and my new friend–Mekeisha has a way of explaining truth that leaves me staring at her dumbly.

When people stare at me like that, they’re trying to figure out what I’m babbling about.

People stare at Mekeisha because they’re mesmerized.

I want to grow up to be just like her.

I asked Mekeisha if I could rip a post off her blog and share it with you. She said, Sure – go for it!

I chose When Pain is Like a Flower because when she read it to my roommate Bethany and I at a recent speakers conference (Christian Communicators Conference–shameless plug), Bethany and I just stared, stunned.

I wish you could’ve been there. It would’ve been crowded in our hotel room, but you would’ve loved listening to her.

After you read Mekeisha’s post, go onto her blog (the link is at the bottom of this post) and leave her a comment, requesting she start streaming live readings.

Thanks! and Enjoy . . .  [Read more…]

Which to Choose: Football or Bonsai Gardening? – Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football

Fret over your football team so much you'd consider giving it up for bonsai gardening? You don't have to! Be conformed to Christ through football instead. via www.JeanWilund.comThis may be the year.

College Football has officially kicked off, and this may be the year that

. . . I rejoice whether my team wins or loses,

. . . I can watch an entire game without fretting,

. . . and I jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, I know. The last one is more likely to happen than the first two.

And the last one ain’t happening.

But it could.

And that’s what matters.

It could happen because God is in the business of transforming lives.

And that’s why I don’t have to give up football and take up bonsai gardening instead.

Last year I declared in my post I Can’t Watch! — Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football that this fretful football fan would change.

And I did.

Two years ago, I couldn’t watch my Tigers play the big games. I watched movies at the theater instead.

Last year, I watched every game. Not every second of every game, but every game.

Progress. I scored a touchdown.

But I confess, I haven’t won the game. Yet.

I’m still a football-fretter. But the game’s not over.

Crockpot Growth.

Spiritual growth sometimes happens in microwave fast spurts.

But usually it simmers to maturity like a crockpot.

Not being able to handle a football game is a spiritual matter. Read more about it here in that post I told you about before.

Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football.

I haven’t given up my goal to be transformed into a relaxed football fan, content and peaceful no matter the outcome.

But there will be times this season when that resolve will be tested, and I may consider giving up football to take up bonsai gardening.

What battle are you waging?

Is your battle as silly as mine over fretting about football?

Or is it serious? The kind that should send you down to your knees, like fear over your child’s cancer diagnosis or arrest?

Or do you struggle with issues that send those who live with you down to their knees, like fits of anger or bitterness?

No matter what you’re facing, it’s not too silly or too serious for God.

Never Give Up

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57 ESV).

Whether we’re facing a goal-line on the football field or a drip-line in the ER, we can keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB).

God won’t just give us strength. He is our strength.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV).

Just Imagine

bonsai-316573_640Imagine what our life would be like tomorrow if we woke up, fixated on our all-powerful, loving God instead of our struggles.

We could facing losing a game without losing our joy or having to take up bonsai gardening.

We’d read the sports headlines and front page headlines without being consumed with worry.

We’d carry peace instead of burdens.

God is waiting to do this work in our hearts today. It starts with believing Him and His Word and walking in the truth we know.

This May Be The Year

This may be the year the Clemson Tigers win the National Championship.

Oh so close last year.

But even better, this may be the year we win the battle in our minds.

What victory will you enjoy this year?

Go For It!

And Go Tigers!

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My Lighthouse: Because a Stubby Nightlight Just Won’t Do

Seriously? We need a lighthouse not a nightlight! John 8.12 & My Lighthouse by Rend Collective via www.JeanWilund.com

 

Lighthouse or Nightlight?


I just spent a fabulous week in Cape Cod. So much beauty.

But seriously?

Some of their lighthouses are so stubby they seem more like a nightlight than a lighthouse.

My husband laughed and said it’s as if their lighthouses are barely whispering, “We’re over here.”

If I’m sailing in troubled seas, a stubby nightlight just won’t do.

A Drowning Woman


Early one morning, while Jesus taught in the Temple, t
he Pharisees and Scribes tossed a drowning woman at Jesus’ feet.

They’d caught her swimming in someone else’s waters, and now she was treading in a sea of trouble. 

Like a puny nightlight that can’t even protect our toes in the dark, the leaders revealed only partial truth. They reminded Jesus that the Law commanded anyone caught in adultery be stoned.  

Actually, they told Him, “Moses commanded us to stone such women.” They twisted the truth and spared the guilty man.

 

SOS: Stoning Or Salvation


After Jesus heard the woman’s accusers, He stooped down and wrote in the dirt.

Unimpressed, or maybe confused, the accusers pressed Jesus to condemn the woman. 

Jesus simply straightened up like a towering Lighthouse and said:

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Grace, love, and truth screamed through the darkness and offered salvation.

Then Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt again.

What did He write?

Scripture? 

The names of women these leaders would recognize in an incriminating way?

Who knows? But the impact can’t be missed.

One by one the leaders slithered off. 

The older men probably had more stone-able secrets they wished to keep hidden, so they scuttled off first. 

Flip Flopped


After Jesus spelled it out for them, their anticipated judgment flip flopped. 

The “righteous” men saw the Light and walked off, judged by their sins

The guilty woman saw the same Light and remained, saved from her sins.

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

The men could’ve fallen at Jesus’ feet and received the same salvation she did.

Instead, they preferred to slip off and drown in judgment rather than bow to Christ.

Safe To Shore


Jesus didn’t tell the guilty woman, “Go, and sin no more” and then He’d bring her safe to shore.

Nope. He gave her a full pardon upfront.

My Lighthouse Child Holds a LighthouseI’ve tread in many a troubled seas.

Sometimes I never saw the craggy cliff. Blind or careless, I slipped and fell off.

Other times I dove off headfirst.

And still other times, I was pushed.

It doesn’t matter how we got into trouble.

Jesus is a towering Lighthouse of salvation for all — the blind, the careless, the victim, and, yes, even the culprit.

Then Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the Light of life
(John 8:12, NASB).

We all make it safe to shore, free of guilt, if we look to Christ — our Lighthouse — and follow Him.

My Lighthouse by Rend Collective


As I read John 8:1-12, I couldn’t help but think of Rend Collective’s song My Lighthouse

I’ve featured Rend Collective before, but If you’re not familiar with this fun Irish band, I’m thrilled to introduce you to them.

They present God’s life-changing truth in their own quirky style.

Enjoy: [Read more…]

Do Not Fear. All Is Not Lost. ARISE (by Russell & Kristi)

Do not fear. All is not lost. Christ is the champion of lost causes. Watch the music video Arise by Russell and Kristi and find hope via www.JeanWilund.com

I get it. Really, I do.

We look at the headlines and throw our hands up in frustration. What’s this world coming to?!

Do not fear. All is not lost.

Go ahead. Throw your hands up, but not in disgust or despair.

Throw them up in praise because Christ is the champion of lost causes.

Consider this: Christ was dead. He was in-the-grave-wrapped-in-linen-sealed-with-a-stone dead.

But all was not lost.

He rose from the dead, left his grave clothes behind, and walked out of the open tomb.

All was not lost.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. ~ Matthew 28:5-6

The resurrection changed everything. It’s still changing everything today.

All is not lost.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.

Arise.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your doubts and fears.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your anger and hate.

Arise in resurrection power and overcome your bondage to sin and shame. 

Arise.

All is not lost.

We’ll still walk through trials. We might even face some we can’t imagine surviving. 

Apart from Christ, we have only whatever strength, peace, and joy we can manage to muster.

Apart from Christ, all is lost.

With Christ, His strength, peace, and joy fill us.

When we abide in Him, all of who He is spills out so we can rise up in power and live — really live.

Even if we can’t physically rise up, our souls aren’t held back. 

Arise and be encouraged. And listen to Russell and Kristi share this message through their song, Arise. [Read more…]

When Life Comes Too Fast or Too Hard, Don’t Panic. Do This Instead.

When life comes too fast or too hard (and it will), don't panic. Do this instead. Look to Isaiah 43, and gain confidence & strength. (via www.JeanWilund.com)When life comes too fast and too hard (and it will), don’t panic.

Do this instead: Look to Isaiah 43.

May this letter to God, written as a response to His Words through Isaiah, give you the strength and confidence you need today.


Father God,

Life is coming hard and fast.

Where are You?

“Do not to be afraid,” I hear You say. “I’ve ransomed you and set you free.”

You paid the unimaginable price demanded. For me.

You call me by name and say, “You are mine.”

You say I’m precious to You, and You love me. 

You tell me You chose me and created me for Your glory.

Forgive me for doubting You. I’d lost sight.

But now I see.

WHEN I go through rivers of difficulty carried away by the fast, furious current, I will not drown because You, O Lord, are with me.

WHEN I walk through the fires of oppression from sin or heartbreak and pain in my soul, the flames will not consume me.

For You are the Lord, my God, the Holy One over me, my Savior.

I will not be afraid for You are with me.

No matter how far I may go from Your presence, You are always right there, gathering me back from the distant corners.

No one but You can predict a single day into the future, but You know every one of my days even before there was one.

You are the only God, and from eternity to eternity there is no other besides You.

No one can oppose You or stop Your mighty hand or reverse Your actions.

Your purposes for me will be accomplished because You have determined it by the strength of Your great, exceeding love for me, which can never be extinguished. 

The things You’ve done for Your people — for me — reveal unquestionably the power of Your love, strength and wisdom.

But all that’s nothing compared to what You’re about to do.

You’re doing something brand new.

Praise God, You’ve already begun.

You’ll make a pathway through my wilderness and rivers in my desert.

You will refresh me.

You’ve been exceedingly patient with me, God, not burdening me or wearying me with requests for me to honor You or obey You, even though those things are due Your Holy name.

Instead, I’ve burdened You and wearied You with my sins and faults.

When life comes too fast or too hard (and it will), don't panic. Do this instead. Look to Isaiah 43, and gain confidence & strength. (via www.JeanWilund.com)And yet, You, O God, have blotted them all out. You’ve cast my sins far from me.

You’ve chosen to forget them forever, just as if I’d never sinned.

You’ve granted this inconceivable kindness, not because of anything I’ve done or deserve, but solely because of Your great love for me.

It makes no sense to me, but how do I dare doubt You again? Your Word is true.

God, I praise You and fall at Your feet with gratitude.

Your faithfulness astounds me.

When the rivers of difficulty sweep over me (and they will), and the fires of oppression burn my very soul (and they will), I will choose to remember I belong to You.

I am Your child.

You won’t let me drown or be consumed.

O Lord, Let me rise every morning to serve and worship You.

Thank you, my Father, my God and my Savior.

I love you.

me

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God Must Do It All ~ Come Alive Dry Bones! (by Lauren Daigle)

Click to listen to Lauren Daigle sing Come Alive Dry Bones and read a powerful message if you've ever felt like dry bones or loved someone who is. God must do it all. Ezekiel 37 & Zechariah 4:6 God must do it all. Come alive dry bones!

I’d just finished play practice for West Side Story my senior year in high school when my friend Zach told me the horrible news that President Ronald Reagan had been shot.

Zach was such a jokester, I didn’t believe him at first.

Twenty years later I was standing in the kitchen when my husband Larry called me from work on September 11th. A plane had just hit one of the twin towers.

Five years later I was sitting on an airplane flying from Paris, France to Atlanta, GA when I finally grasped what it really meant that God must do it all. [Read more…]

Waiting & Wondering Are Agonizing. God is Amazing!

Waiting can be agonizing. Waiting and wondering can be torture. But God is absolutely amazing! He'll show up in ways and places you don't expect. (www.JeanWilund.com)

Waiting can be agonizing. Waiting and wondering can be torture. But God is absolutely amazing!

Yesterday God blew me away with His kindness and His ways in the midst of agonized waiting and wondering.

He doesn’t always answer me in miraculous ways. Sometimes He doesn’t seem to answer me at all. When He doesn’t, He’s no less amazing, loving, kind or powerful.

But when He does, I have to shout it out. So here it is:

I woke up yesterday with a heavy heart I couldn’t shake.

I tried.

I reminded myself of the wonderful truths of God’s sovereignty, kindness, and power.

How can a heavy heart stand in the face of that?

I’ll tell you: [Read more…]